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The Singapore Parliament in session / photo istana.gov.sg

Opposition is trying very hard; lack of democratic freedoms is the problem

By Eugene Yeo

Armchair critic? While I respect your opinions in a democratic country, I beg to differ.

Think about this. After you voted for the PAP, what have they done for you? While you are in your own armchair, do you know that the opposition parties are governed by a lot of rules enacted by PAP to contain them?

These opposition parties that you think lowly of and criticise for not doing enough, do you know that they have mouths to feed too? They are not funded like our ministers. Policies that being enacted ruthlessly by the ruling party, whether they are good or bad for Singaporeans, do you think that the opposition that you did not vote for have a chance to criticise or do more to change that unpopular decision? The coming presidential elections will be a classic example where no amount of words opposition can say can change the result.

Let me tell you what opposition people have been doing. And it's not only just during elections. Opposition can choose to do flat visits and walk the ground. Due to limited resources, walking the ground once a week will allow them to engage more people compared to visiting blocks of flats. 1 block of 100 households... do you know how long it needs for that opposition party to cover the whole block?

Opposition parties have in the past voiced out issues that concerned Singaporeans. We are not just armchair critics, just criticising for the sake of votes. Opposition parties lose at every election, but they chose to come back to stand for election even when they knew chances are slim. Not because they love losing. But because their concern for the good of Singaporeans takes priority over losing. And please do give credit for these never say die attitude to want to serve Singaporeans... even people like you who criticise them without understanding them and the things they do behind the scenes.

We make a point and point out some of the disadvantages that the ruling party enact. And we have seen ruling party following our advice. All in the name of making our country a better place for Singaporeans.

Some of those stuffs that opposition parties brought up while you conveniently disregard are on major issues that affect our life. Such as transport problems that we faced. PMETs that's not getting re-employed. Influx of FTs for local jobs that Singaporeans can do. Rising costs of living. Elderly not being able to sustain themselves. Last but not least, we spoke up for single mothers and what happened after all these?

Government listened and tweaked some policies to improve.

Wanna make Singapore better, try joining an opposition party so you could understand more about them before you criticise them for not doing enough. Go see for yourself first-hand the efforts they put in selflessly behind the scenes. Yet having to step within the boundaries of what the ruling parties rules that they have put in place.

They have 82 seats out of 88 in parliament and policies, good or not, are placed forward at a click of a finger.

So who's to be blamed when these policies and bills are passed due to voting? 82 MPs will vote for it and it's always the 6 that's against it.

You get what you vote for. What can 6 opposition party MP do to change a decision made by 82 pap MPs? Nothing much.

Try putting 40 opposition parties into parliament and see the difference.

My 3 cents.

This was first published as a comment on Facebook in response to an opinion piece here.